Looking back at the best and worst games of the academic year

As the school year comes to a close, it’s always nice to think about all that happened. Over the past eight months or so, some innovative new games (and some not so innovative ones) have come out.


Best Game: “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”


There are many cool things about the newest addition to the “Legend of Zelda” franchise that it’s hard to pick just a few. First and foremost, it has a multitude of side quests. Even after defeating the final level, there are still hours worth of gameplay left. Virtually anything a player can think to try is possible in “Breath of the Wild.”


Along with this, the feel of the Switch, Nintendo’s latest console, makes everything fresh and brand new, even though “Breath of the Wild” is a dungeon crawler at its core.


On top of everything else, “Breath of the Wild” has really nice graphics. It looks less like previous games in the franchise or other popular Nintendo creations, and more like the game “Firewatch.” It’s a really unique visual experience, and even more fun to play.


Honorable mention: “Horizon Zero Dawn.” It’s a nice looking role-playing game with familiar mechanics, set in an environment that makes the entire experience feel brand new. It’s a pretty solid game, overall. Unfortunately, it’s only available for PS4.


Worst Game: “No Man’s Sky”


The worst part about this game is all the potential it had to be great. “No Man’s Sky,” by Indie Developer Hello Games came out in early August. The graphics are incredible, and the concept won Hello Games the Game Developer’s Choice Award for innovation.


However, these graphics were the ones shown at game conferences before the actual release of the game. The graphics in the game ended up being of much lower quality.


“No Man’s Sky” revolves around players discovering new worlds, species and mining fuel to power their rocket ship. It was going to be the biggest procedurally-generated game ever. The exact number of planets the game would generate, given by Hello Games, was 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets. That’s 18 quintillion, a game so big that players were supposed to take months to meet one another in-game.


Except, two players tried to do just that, and found they couldn’t see one another at the given location. This was the first step in a long descent into failure for “No Man’s Sky” that would eventually lead to its “mostly negative” approval rating on Steam. A lot was promised for “No Man’s Sky,” and not a lot was given in return. It’s a waste of $60, unless Hello Games happens to make some major changes, which might be coming soon according to Lead Developer Sean Murray. However, given the company’s track record thus far when it comes to promises made about “No Man’s Sky,” that might prove to be false, too.


Honorable mention: “Club Penguin Island.” Overall pretty disappointing with regards to its mechanics and visuals. The game is based on the player’s need to gain as many experience points and upgrades to their avatar through menial tasks more than its predecessor. This lack of questing and storylines was what made “Club Penguin” so successful, and part of the reason why “Club Penguin Island” fails.